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Israeli Noms: Shakshuka

2014 June 25

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Wow. It’s been three months since I last posted, and I have to say–there’s simply no excuse for the lack of posts. I’m aiming to actually a post per week, and it’s something I definitely intend on following through with.

ANYWAYS, here’s what’s happened since March:

  • Took a month off from work
  • Traveled to Peru
  • Started kickboxing
  • Got a CAT!

Yes, that’s right…I officially took the first steps to becoming a crazy cat lady and got a young, pretty rambunctious (but totally adorable) feline. His name is Milo, and you can catch his picture (and this week’s recipe for shakshuka) after the break!

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Pretty cute, right? Right. Besides the cat news, I also took an amazing trip to Peru. Besides trekking 40 miles through several climates and extreme elevation changes on the way to Machu Picchu, I also had the best meal of my life at Lima’s incredible Central restaurant, recently named the 15th best restaurant in the world! That will be discussed in a future post.

But anyways, let’s get to the heart of this week’s posting: shakshuka. It’s been about a year since my trip to Israel, and I have to say, I’m dying to go back. I miss the country, the people, everyone on my trip, and I’d kill for some decent Israeli food (obviously). Shakshuka, a dish of simmered tomatoes, peppers, and egg, is practically the national dish. It’s also a recipe that’s worked its way into my weekly repertoire of dishes. It’s healthy, low in calories, and tastes absolutely fantastic. Although, realistically, anything that has an egg on top is probably going to be delicious. I like to add tofu to mine for added protein, but it’s totally optional.

 

Shakshuka

Ingredients

  • 28oz canned or fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. pilpelchuma or harissa
  • 7oz tofu, sliced roughly 1/4-inch thick (optional)
  • Eggs
  • Cilantro, for garnish
  • Good quality Italian bread–nice crust, but soft
  • Labne or other thick yogurt

A really quick note on pilpelchuma–it’s a very spicy Israeli paste and is super easy to make. The recipe I’ve linked to will last you a while. Totally recommend making it.

Directions

  1. If you decide to go the tofu route, press and drain the tofu, slice it, and then pan fry the slices. Set aside for later.
  2. Heat olive oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add in the peppers, tomato paste, cumin, garlic, and pilpelchuma. Saute for several minutes, until the peppers are soft.
  3. Add in the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. The liquid from the tomatoes should reduce as it simmers
  4. If you wanted tofu, add it now. Chop the slices into bite-size pieces and add to pan. Simmer for 10 minutes so the flavor sinks in.
  5. Now, the fun part–for however many eggs you have, make a few dents in the mixture. Slowly crack an egg into each one, making sure not to break the yolk!
  6. Let the egg simmer for another 10 minutes until the whites are cooked but the yolk is still runny inside
  7. Spoon into bowls, being careful not to break the yolks (unlike me!). Garnish with cilantro and labne, serve with bread. Delish.

 

 

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